[Marxism] RE: Is the Bolivarian Revolution A Marxist Revolution?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 26 10:57:05 MDT 2005

Andy wrote:
>Walter is fond of citing this article from 1960. I encourage everyone
>to read it.
>When the article says "the main danger to the Cuban Revolution is
>in its own leadership," the key word is "in." The article is a model
>of critical but nonsectarian analysis and advice. It cites, and
>praises, many measures Castro took AFTER he realized that the
>dangerous elements "in" the leadership were stalling, misleading, etc.
>At the time the article was written it was not clear how far he would
>go -- yet the article does NOT call for the construction of an
>alternative leadership or party, but simply asks how far he will go
>and suggests possible steps.

The main problem with the SWP was in its characterization of the July 26th 
Movement as a "blunt instrument". The assumption was always that Fidel, Che 
et al were very committed revolutionary nationalists who decided to break 
with capitalism only after the local bourgeoisie and US imperialism blocked 
their initiatives to create some kind of radical democracy. In other words, 
if they had been left alone, then Cuba might have looked more like Mexico 
in the 1930s.

This is a function of the narrow-mindedness of the SWP leaders who simply 
lacked the means or the curiosity to learn more about the roots of Cuba 
Marxism. You can find out about Che Guevara's Marxism by reading Anderson's 

 >>In Guatemala City Che became acquainted with Hilda Gadea, a heavy-set 
Peruvian woman with plain features whom he would eventually wed. Although 
Che was blessed with an Adonis-like beauty, he did not necessarily seek 
physical attractiveness in the opposite sex. What drew him to Hilda was her 
sophisticated Marxist outlook and strong personality, both of which made 
her a compañera and not just a romantic interest.

Hilda was an exiled leader of the youth wing of Peru's APRA party working 
in Arbenz's government. The APRA's leftwing nationalism bore similarities 
to Peron's "Justicialist" movement. His only disagreement with her revolved 
around the character of the APRA party which he regarded as middle-class 
and reformist. However, she was also strongly influenced by the Marxism of 
José Carlos Mariátegui, the founder of Peru's non-Stalinist Communist 
Party. Unfortunately, Anderson has few comments on their conversations 
about Mariátegui except that they took place. For scholars of Mariátegui 
and Latin American Marxism, the encounter between Hilda and Che serve as a 
key link with the Cuban revolution, which viewed the Peruvian communist as 
one of their own.<<

full: http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/state_and_revolution/Che_Guevara.htm

With respect to Fidel Castro's Marxism, suffice it to say that his brother 
was a member of the Cuban CP, but a heterodox member. It is highly likely 
that they discussed theory from a young age. Finally, it is even more 
likely that Castro did not take a cash course in Marxism just before his 
famous speech about Marxism-Leninism after the Bay of Pigs. People simply 
don't turn on a dime in this fashion.

Bourgeois commentators like to make a big deal out of Castro keeping his 
Marxism a secret. There is actually something to that. Why spout formulas 
about the need to build Soviets unless you are a sectarian.



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